Colorado Voters to Get Their Say on Sports Betting in Nov

Colorado voters to get their say on sports betting in Nov

Colorado voters will decide next month on whether to legalize sports betting and immediately subject it to taxation to help future-proof water supply for the Mile-High State’s farmers and agriculture in general.

The betting referendum measure (Proposition DD), by the Colorado General Assembly, would legalize and regulate sports betting through online or mobile sports betting platforms operated by casinos in Colorado. As a consequence, the State General Assembly would impose a 10% tax on land-based and online casinos’ net sports betting proceeds. Voters on November  5 will consider the measure along with (Proposition CC) that will allow the state government to spend the money it would ordinarily be required to return to taxpayers under the state’s unique tax-and-spending limitation amendment. Both measures appear likely to pass.

The Polls Suggest Colorado will Legalize Sports Betting

 It is anticipated that Colorado voters will see the following question for consideration on their ballots in November:

 “Shall state taxes be increased by twenty-nine million dollars annually to fund state water projects and commitments and to pay for regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos by authorizing a tax on sports betting of ten percent of net sports betting proceeds, and to impose the tax on persons licensed to conduct sports betting operations?,” according to the Secretary of State for Colorado.

Recent polls show more voters support the legalization of sports betting than oppose it. However, a recent online survey of 5000 Coloradans conducted by an independent gaming company indicated Proposition DD to legalize online sports betting enjoyed support of only 29 per cent, compared to that of the opposition of 31.5 per cent, with a huge 39.5 per cent undecided. That poll had a margin of error of +/-1.3 percent. At seems Coloradans will make up their minds late. The timing of the vote (taking place in the middle of the NFL and college football regular seasons) could sway the vote in favor of sports betting.

Politicians believe that when the state’s residents understand the financial implications, the numbers for sports betting will improve. Representative Alec Garnett (D), sponsor of the bill (H.B. 1327) referring the sports betting measure, said on September 27;

“The ballot measure fares even better in polling when its backers clarify the tax will be on casino’s profits, not on individual winnings” Garnett said.

Despite the Support, Critics of Sports Betting Exist in Colorado

 Some Colorado sports betting detractors assert the ballot question is vague and that, if approved, merely open the doors to more tax increases disguised as water conversation.

Even in liberal Colorado, where the Democrats control the both houses of the state’s legislature and the Governor’s mansion, some radical environmental groups oppose the introduction of sports betting;

This ‘Gambling for Dams’ bill is a climate-denying, river-destroying scheme pure and simple. To think that Colorado can dam its way out of climate change is a gamble of the highest stakes,” Director of Save the Colorado and Coloradans for Climate Justice, Gary Wockner said.

However, most gaming companies are already positioning themselves for an introduction of sports betting in Colorado, confident that the state will vote in favor of legal sports wagering.

If Coloradans vote in favor of sports betting, it will have plenty of geographic advantage and a virtual monopoly on sports betting in the Rocky Mountain states. Of Colorado’s seven neighboring states, only New Mexico permits sports betting, and even then, through a tribal compact only. None of the remaining six states appear likely to introduce, let alone pass sports betting related legislation this year or even in 2020.

Other states, including South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and nearby Utah, are unlikely to welcome sports betting anytime soon, leaving a gaping sports betting hole for Colorado to fill.